31 December 2017
It’s coming to the end of 2017 and while it’s been a year of growth, we are looking ahead to what 2018 will bring! We sit
down with Deborah Andres, our Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to hear her reflections on the past year as well as her
direction for the new year.
What’s your role at Ang Chin Moh Group and can you provide a quick description of your role?
Chief Executive Officer – overseeing and managing the group of companies, strategic planning, working with the board to realize their vision. To train and groom the next generation of Funeral Professionals.
What was your journey leading up to here?
I spent 14 years with the National Funeral Directors Association, in the USA as the VP of International relations. I met Mr Ang Ziqian (Deputy Chairman) and his team in Hong Kong at the Asia Funeral expo, through the years we had many exchanges and in 2014 I joined them.
Why did you join Ang Chin Moh Group?
From the moment I met Mr Ang Ziqian, I felt he was a very well-prepared young man with a vision. His passion showed in everything he did and could be heard as he spoke about funeral service and his experience. He wanted, wants more for the funeral service profession not only for Ang Chin Moh but for his country as a whole.
What are your visions/goals for the Group?
The vison is for Singapore’s funeral service profession to be able to renew itself with innovative ideas and be a career choice for young Singaporeans ensuring that the future of death in Singapore is in safe hands. That it becomes a recognized and respected profession nationwide.
What are your thoughts about the funeral profession in Singapore?
The fact that Singaporeans still hold true to their traditions and hold 3-5 day wakes is wonderful as a funeral is for the living to come together for support and sharing. The first step to closure. However, the constraint in space and venues in which to have a funeral is distressing. The lack of progress in the profession here since the 1970s is slow to change even with all the recent innovations.
What is the biggest difference between the profession in the West and here in the East?
All funerals are different and here at Ang Chin Moh Funeral Directors, we make a point to personalize and customize every funeral to meet the specific needs of the bereaved families. Recognizing the family’s needs is the first step.
Where do you see the funeral profession in the next 5-10 years?
Over the last 4 years we have witnessed an increase in public awareness, which in turn forces funeral service professionals to revise and re-tool the products and services they offer to their families and the communities they serve. We foresee more stringent administration of the profession and higher expectations from the public so that the standards and expectations of the funeral profession will be raised.
What do you love most about Singapore?
Favorite local food?
Many but my comfort food is Shui Jiao(Dumplings) noodles.
Can you say a local slang that you’ve picked up?
Ang Moh!!! So How? Cannot lah!
What do you enjoy doing in your leisure time?
Long drives, going to the Beach and reading. Being with family and good friends.
What are you passionate about?
Training the next generation of funeral directors who can lead with passion and compassion.
Can you share with us one of your favorite memories of Christmas?
Christmas is a time of rebirth and love! My favorite time of year! I love the smell of the Christmas tree, the smell of freshly baked goods and the warmth of a roaring fire! the smiles and giggles from the children! The wonder and magic that comes with the season!
How do you normally celebrate Christmas?
Are there certain traditions or customs that you practice? At home surrounded by all my family. We have the tradition that the kids get up first, wake up the parents and then patiently wait for everyone to gather. Stockings are opened first, then each year one of the kids takes their turn to hand out the gifts. Followed by a tradition brunch, games and later the Christmas feast!
Looking back at 2017, can you share a memorable/significant incident that took place?
Working with the Hospices, and nursing homes on the ‘Last Portrait’. This project gives every person regardless of status
the opportunity to have a professional picture of themselves for a dignified sendoff.
What is one thing you’re most thankful for this year?
As always, the love and support from my children, family and friends from around the globe.
What are you hoping for next year?
My son is getting married to a wonderful young lady next September and we are looking forward to celebrating it
together with all our family and friends.
What are you hoping for next year for Ang Chin Moh Group?
That the company will continue to nurture and train young professionals who can continue to serve the community with
compassion and dignity.
Is there something you’d like to say to your employees?
To be passionate and proud of what they do! Always!!